The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) hosted a special group of young Law Enforcement Explorers to show them how DSS protects foreign dignitaries visiting New York City during the annual United Nations General Assembly. Explorers who trained with DSS special agents last month experienced DSS UNGA security operations up close and engaged with Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gentry Smith and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield to learn about their careers at the U.S. Department of State.
Assistant Secretary Smith spoke with the Explorers about the DSS global mission and how he rose through the ranks over a 30-year career to become the first African American DSS special agent to serve as assistant secretary.
“I am very excited to meet you because my New York Field Office special agents praised the dignitary protection training you did with DSS this past summer, and we hope to train with the Explorers in the future,” said Smith.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield encouraged the Explorers to consider the foreign service, be willing to take a chance, and keep an open mind when pursuing a career.
“Don’t always look for the door that you thought you wanted to go through, and even if you ultimately decide not to go into law enforcement or security, you will understand and have respect for what they do.” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.
Earlier in the summer, special agents from the DSS New York Field Office and instructors from the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center provided protection training to 200 young Explorers from New York City’s diverse communities. The Explorers program is supported by the New York City Police Department and several other federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies who run Explorer posts.
The Diplomatic Security Service does not currently administer a formal post, but over the last year, the DSS New York Field Office has increased its involvement with the Explorers by delivering training during the Explorers’ annual summer academy, coordinating a protective security competition, and participating in the academy graduation ceremony. Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office Keith Byrne also sits on the Law Enforcement Explorers Board of Directors.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to continue our engagement with the Explorers, offer them meaningful and personal engagement with senior DSS and State Department leadership, and show them how DSS supports the U.N. General Assembly as part of its dynamic global mission,” said Byrne. “The DSS New York Field looks forward to continued engagements with the Explorers with the goal of establishing a formal post in 2023,” he added.